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Author Topic: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?  (Read 685 times)

Aram Hăvărneanu

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53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:37:17 am »

I bought a Kipon tilt-shift so I can use my old Nikon lenses on my Fuji X-T10. It seems the old lenses work better than I expected.

In the next post I will attach two pictures (damn forum software won't allow me to attach in this post), the first is shot with a 53 year old Nikon 50mm f/1.4 NIKKOR-S Auto lens used a tilt shift lens.

The second is Fujifilm XF 55-200mm zoom lens, focus stacked.

Both were shot at f/5.6.

The Nikkor is neck to neck to the Fuji (even better in some areas), even though it starts at a severe disadvantage. It's only 50mm (vs 55), so I had to enlarge and stretch the Nikon image. Also, the Nikkor is used with tilt, which further reduces performance somewhat.

Not bad for a lens manufactured before we went to the moon.

In fact I think the Nikkor should perform even better than this example. This was focused and tilted using measurements and calculations, not by focusing on live view (I am having trouble with that, I'll post in another thread). I measured the distances in the scene, and computed the necessary tilt, then focused using the scale on the lens.

I am somewhat impressed by this. I bought the tilt-shift just for fun, but it seems it can be used for actual work. Yes, I am comparing a zoom with a prime, but it's what I have lying around. This is not a scientific test, I just like playing with old lenses.

The Fuji lens has far more contrast, I had to pump the Nikkor shot pretty hard to get it close.

I'll try with more modern Nikkors. This is fun.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 07:50:29 am by Aram Hăvărneanu »
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Aram Hăvărneanu

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 07:40:53 am »

The damn forum software still won't allow me to upload images (I just get a white page, no errors). Anyway, here they are:

https://xw.is/pub/NikkorVSFuji/0Nikkor50.jpg
https://xw.is/pub/NikkorVSFuji/1Fuji55200.jpg
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kers

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 08:46:33 am »

Interesting comparison;
I think the coatings are the main difference...
Shoot backlight and you see it clearly. (The general advice those days always was "do not shoot agains the sun... "
Then you use f8 i guess and it will be more different if you compare the old Nikkor at f1.8 agains the new S Nikkor 50mm 1.8, especially off centre.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 08:55:14 am »

Well, Kernighan and Ritchie was bound to be sharp; it's such a classic!   ;D
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Aram Hăvărneanu

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 12:39:03 pm »

So I redid the test with my 35mm f/2 Nikkor vs. 2016 Fuji XF 35mm f/2. The Nikkor design is from 1965, though my particular copy is somewhat newer (mid 70s, probably). I don't think anybody considered the 35mm Nikkor particularly great.

All images are shot at f/5.6.

Nikkor with tilt shift: https://xw.is/pub/Nikkor35VSFuji/N35TILT.jpg
Fuji focus stacked: https://xw.is/pub/Nikkor35VSFuji/F35STACK.jpg
Nikon focus stacked: https://xw.is/pub/Nikkor35VSFuji/N35STACK.jpg

I think I misfocused a little bit on the tilt shift image (Go programming language is soft, but with the same lens focus stacked, it is sharp; so I think it's my fault unless this lens has curvature of field). It's very hard to focus this adapter because it's not geared and I only have base tilt.

In this case the new lens is superior around the edges, but in most of the frame they are pretty equal. Also the contrast is about the same (unlike the 50mm).

The 1965 lens is still pretty good, but there is greater difference between old vs new with the 35 instead of the 50 (as expected).
In any case the focus stacked images are full of artefacts, and would need manual fixing, while the tilt image is clean, so I am very tempted to keep using this.
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Aram Hăvărneanu

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 01:24:46 pm »

As expected the Nikon 85mm f/2 is by far sharper than the 50 and 35.

https://xw.is/pub/scheimpflug/85mm.jpg
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BrianVS

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2019, 06:56:07 pm »

"Back in the Day" the Nikkor-O 35/2 was a favorite of Wedding photographers, my factory-AI's version is great on the Df and on film. The lens was reformulated early on, I'd have to go looking for an exact year. KEH used to charge more for the Nikkor-O 35/2 over the OC multi-coated version. The later Ai 35/2 simplified the optical design, lost something in the translation.

Most Nikkor 50/1.4's are good, try the Nikkor-SC 50/1.4 and later for increased contrast.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2019, 09:47:30 pm »

Nothing wrong with forum software.

The damn forum software still won't allow me to upload images (I just get a white page, no errors). Anyway, here they are:




Aram Hăvărneanu

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2019, 08:41:23 am »

Well Slobodan, you embedded the pictures directly in the post, rather than attaching them. When attaching both of them (one only seems to work), I usually get an empty page. This is not the first time it's happening.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2019, 08:54:11 am »

Well Slobodan, you embedded the pictures directly in the post, rather than attaching them. When attaching both of them (one only seems to work), I usually get an empty page. This is not the first time it's happening.

They are simply too big for attaching. One is 3.8 Mb, the other 4.2 Mb. Above the limits specified in the Attachmets field. Besides, what is wrong with embedding them? You wanted people to see it, no?

Aram Hăvărneanu

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Re: 53 year old Nikon 50mm vs. modern Fuji lens, who wins?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2019, 08:57:31 am »

Actually, they were about 2MB, I resized them before uploading, but since that didn't work out I decided to post the full versions.

There is nothing wrong with embedding them, of course, apart from taking extra space on screen and using extra bandwidth on my server (not that I mind).
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